Home > Crime > 2012 Begins With Hearings, Pleas And Trials Scheduled

2012 Begins With Hearings, Pleas And Trials Scheduled


It may have seemed relatively quiet, but 2012 is likely to be a very busy year in the courts.  Just a few of the items I’m keeping an eye on:

Adam and Elisa Baker

Parents of the pretty little Australian girl who was brutally dismembered after her death in September 2010 are both in court today.

Elisa Baker is currently serving an 18-year sentence after a plea deal in the murder case was reached.

Today, she will be in Federal Court with another plea deal on the seven drug related charges.  If convicted on all charges she faced 115 years in prison and a fine of $4.2 million.  It will be interesting to see what the plea deal consists of.

Meanwhile, Adam Baker has his own legal woes.  He faces 2 felony charges – one count of identity theft and one count of obtaining property by false pretense.

Today, the details of the plea bargain his attorney and the Catawba County District Attorney’s Office have worked out will be revealed.

It is believed Baker will not serve any jail time and may return to his native Australia as early as next week.

Dr. William Petit

Judge Jon Blue will sentence Joshua Komisarjevsky on January 27 for his part in the 2007 Petit family murders.  Komisarjevsky was sentenced to death by the jury in early December and will join his accomplice Steven Hayes on death row.  I look forward to reading Judge Blue’s sentencing remarks.

On a brighter note, it has been confirmed that Dr. Petit became engaged to photographer Christine Paluf over the weekend.  No wedding date has been set.

I wish Dr. Petit happiness and hope this marriage helps him heal and move forward.

Joran van der Sloot

If all goes as planned – this is Peru after all – Joran van der Sloot will stand trial on Friday for the murder and robbery of Stephany Flores.

van der Sloot was charged last year with “qualified murder” and simple robbery, crimes which carry sentences of 28 years and 2 years.

van der Sloot’s attorney now states his client will plead guilty to the robbery – 2 years – and “simple” homicide – 6-20 years.  It is possible if van der Sloot pulls this off, he could serve as little as 2 years on the murder due to Peru’s 3 for 1 prisoner benefit!

Confused?  Don’t blame me blame the Peruvian legal system; I don’t claim to understand at all!

For a better understanding of the legal wrangling, watch the CNN video!

Whatever the number of years he serves in Peru, van der Sloot still faces extradition to the US on federal fraud and extortion charges!

Jodi Arias

In what may be the most anticipated murder trial of 2012, jury selection in the Jodi Arias murder trial has just been slated for October 17.  Arias is charged with the 2008 murder of her former boyfriend, Travis Alexander.

After friends hadn’t heard from Travis despite numerous phone calls, emails and text messages, they entered his home and found his decomposing body in the shower.  He had been shot in the head, stabbed 27 times, his throat slit from ear to ear and the cause of death was determined to be a stab wound directly to the heart.

Nancy Grace Blog Video

This case has already been a rollercoaster ride from day one and the waiting of family and friends for justice must be unbearable.

Arias first told police that she wasn’t even in Arizona, but when her DNA and her palm print were confirmed at the scene, she quickly changed her story to it was a home invasion by a man and woman.  After Travis was shot, she claims the gunman put the gun to her head, but it misfired.  So, like any person scared out of their wits, she reached down and grabbed her purse off the floor and fled and drove for hours.  Nope, she never called police or reported to anyone what had happened!

Next, Arias had letters allegedly written by Travis that purportedly showed he was abusive and in which he admitted to being a pedophile, electronically sent to the prosecutors.  They were rejected as evidence after both the prosecution and defense determined they were forged.

Then, Arias informed the judge she wanted her attorneys tossed and she would represent herself even though she has no legal background and only completed school through eleventh grade!   The judge kept the attorneys on as advisors for Arias.

Next ploy by Arias is that she had to kill Alexander in self-defense.  She claims he grew enraged when she dropped his new camera and attacked her.

Finally, on December 23, Arias’ death penalty qualified public defender, Victoria Washington, withdrew from the case. Jennifer Willmott, a death penalty-qualified defense attorney has until October 17 to get up to speed with this topsy-turvy case.

Oh, and Travis Alexander’s camera and bed sheets were run through the wash.  Police were able to recover two sets of photos from the memory card – one set are provocative photos of Alexander as well as nude photos of Arias, the other set shows a bleeding and dying Travis Alexander on the bathroom floor!

With all the evidence, seems to me, self-defense will be a pretty hard sell – seeing Arias on the stand trying to explain self-defense will be jaw dropping, I’m sure!

Stay tuned!


Dr. William Petit Engaged

Elisa Baker in federal court Thursday for plea hearing

Adam Baker plea deal posponed

Jodi Arias Case: Twists And Delays In Alleged Femme Fatale’s Murder Trial

  1. ritanita
    01/05/2012 at 3:27 pm

    Donchais, you will certainly be busy this year! I’m glad I got you going on the Jodi Arias case. I regret it will not start in February, but I am a patient person. Ms. Arias, by claiming self-defence (for the time being) will have to take the stand. I sure would love to see how she holds up under withering cross. She’s quite the actress.

    Let’s not forget that 2012 will also bring news of the re-trials in the Christian-Newsome case. Let’s hope the appellate court rules against them and the dirty four don’t have the opportunity to parade themselves before the public eye again.

    I wish Dr. Petit and Ms. Paluf all the best on their upcoming marriage.

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